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Anatomy of a Bible Resource: Little Book of Joy 

Lifewords leaps into 2024 with a brand-new title in our Little Book series – Little Book of Joy launched on 29 February, joining the other five books in the collection.  

With the world in such turmoil it may seem counter-intuitive that the theme for a new Bible resource is joy. And for some, it might be surprising that the Bible talks about joy at all, when it is so often portrayed as boring, irrelevant, even toxic – a joyless book. But, the Bible – this ancient collection of 66 “little books” – is our faith story, exploring the nature of God, humanity, and the world in which we live. Love, hope, redemption, and joy flow right through it.  

Foundations of joy 

In this new little book, we hear the Bible’s voice on “creation joy” – the idea that creation itself joys in the Creator. Then, there is the “fruit of joy” – how it forms part of the work of the Spirit of God in our lives and in the world. “Justice joy” illustrates how living with deep joy generates a world of joy not hate, hope not despair, love not fear, reshaping the world in God’s image. This links to “sustaining joy” – how even through the deepest travails, joy whispers that a new story can come. “Fully-alive joy” is where we explore how all humans experience joy – it’s not confined to religion or ideology, yet the Bible describes a particular joy from knowing the source of joy. All of which leads us to “Jesus joy” – through his birth, his life, and his death, Jesus brought joy to the world. A “resurrection joy” that cannot be held back. 

Discovering joy 

Although we can find joy in many ways and places, we often battle political, socio-economic or religious trauma, our inner thoughts and feelings, depression, mental struggle, relationships and family stress. Stigma. Othering. Shaming. All of these can be thieves of joy, so the resource leads us to hear how joy can be found again in “restoring joy”, and how release comes when we express joy – we’re invited to journal short responses as we reflect on the Bible text. The resource concludes by rounding off with two important passages. First – “run to your joy”, where nothing holds back the purest joy. And finally, the “way of joy” – bringing us into Jesus’ beatitudes, where joy is expressed as “blessing”. This is the path to joy that Jesus invites us all in to.


Each little book has its own design feel. For Little Book of Joy, the brief was to capture an essence of vibrancy, colour – upbeat and freewheeling, like the 1960s technicolor antidote to the grey, austere 50s, or the psychedelic artwork of a Hendrix album or beat generation film poster. As we experience our own lockdown world and austerity era, the vitality of joy needs to be envisioned. With the weight of world events around us, joy seems in very short supply. Our prayer is that this will bring a little joy to many people. 

We are excited to release new resources in 2024, starting with Little Book of Joy, and to launch the Little Brick of Little Books to help people get the resource into more places. In addition, watch out for developments in animation and other digital/video applications of the series. 

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